DNA Sequencing: Extropalating Antibiotic Resistant Chronic Infections
I have had a bunch of recent questions on social media in regards to DNA Sequencing and the important role I think it can play in diagnosing and treating diseases. I have covered this topic a few times over the years but I thought I would address a specific question regarding its importance. Hope you find it helpful! Thanks.
DNA sequencing, which is available through MicroGen Dx, is an important concept in allowing clinicians to have a better understanding of the microbial make–up that is usually seen in chronic infections. In acute infections, the infectious agent is usually limited to one type of bacteria. This is not the case that is seen in recurrent or chronic infections. In these cases,host defenses do not allow for complete elimination of the bacteria causing the infection. The reasons are many and include problems with circulation, immunological disorders or recurrent trauma – just to name a few. Regardless of the risk factors involved, surviving bacteria create a biofilm made up of polysaccarhides, proteins and DNA as a protective barrier against the harsh environment created by the antibiotics. With recurrent insults to the host’s defenses, new and different types of bacteria become incorporated into the biofilm. With time, these chronic infections become more complex with multiple organisms, which allows for the sharing of genetic material causing resistance to antibiotics. Recent literature has shown that fungi are becoming more prevalent in chronic infections. Routine cultures are not reliable for growing and identifying many types of fungi. It is for these reasons that when dealing with either a chronic infection or where an infectious agent is suspected, but is not readily being found by conventional culture techniques, DNA sequencing has the extra benefit of identifying more fastidious organisms. This allows the clinician to have a better idea of the bacterial make–up impeding a favorable outcome.